Union to Union Partnership

Union to Union Partnership

COTU (K) Union to Union Partnership

COTU (K) partnership with Union to Union (formally LO-TCO) was initiated in 2005 LO-TCO in conjunction with ITUC-Africa and OATUU. The collaboration has supported two key initiatives; the Pan African Trade Union Education Programme (PANAF) and the COTU (K) Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Strategy.

  1. The PANAF/Study Circle Project

The project was established in 2005 out of a commitment by Trade Union Leaders in Africa to render an important service to their member – Education. The PANAF project is unique since it focuses on training the rank and file thus ordinary union members at the workplace through the study circle education model.

The objective of the COTU PANAF Project is:

  • Promote Trade Union Unity and Democracy
  • Create capacity within Trade Union membership to participate effectively in National issues.
  • Address the current challenges facing the Trade Union movement
  • Enhance change of attitude and behavior among the trade union membership
  • Assist on organizing and recruitment of new members into trade unions
  • Enhance dialogue between workers and employers.

Key impact of the PANAF Project over a period of 17 year include:

  1. Enhanced knowledge of fundamental labour rights among workers
  2. Increased organizing and recruitment of new members in the industries
  • Improved labour relations -Study Circle Education has played a big role in reduction of strikes, conflicts at workplaces
  1. Increased appreciation of workers training by employers because evident change of behavior/attitude of their employees
  2. Enhanced leadership skills-there is a significant number of shopfloor trade union leaders who have been elevated to union branch officials and even General Secretaries
  3. Increased participation of women in trade union leadership-majority of Trade Union Women leaders have grown their leadership skills through the PANAF Study Circle Education


  1. The COTU (K) Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Strategy 2021-2025

In 2021, Union to Union supported COTU (K) develop a strategic plan to cure the negative impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The strategy documented the following priority areas which will guide the organization’s functions in the period 2021-2025:

  1. Organizing and Recruitment-COTU (K) aims to increase its membership by about 2 million workers particularly targeting the informal economy and non-standards employment workers. In addition, COTU (K) intends to enhance service delivery to members through collective bargaining and education
  2. Social dialogue and tripartism-support  industrial relations including peace and social cohesion
  3. Advocate for Universal Social Protection-particularly to informal economy and non-standard employment workers
  4. Support interventions against climate change and advocate for a just transition through capacity building and advocacy for green jobs and skills
  5. Cross cutting advocacy issues including: youth and women, Disability inclusion and intervention against unfair labour migration.


Future collaboration

COTU (K) remains grateful for the continued support received from Union to Union to empower it’s members. One key challenge faced while implementing the COTU(K) Panaf Project is inadequate funding against the training need. For instance, COTU (K) halted two key programmes namely; Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution, and Democracy and Governance due to financial strain.

Secondly, effective implementation of the COTU (K) strategy did not kick off as earlier envisaged due to financial strain occasioned by the Covid-19 crisis.

We therefore request for continuation of the current solidarity support from the Swedish unions so as to continue and even expand our interventions.

Kwanyukuri Kakai

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